The New Primal, a small start-up out of Charleston, South Carolina, has adopted the primal food philosophy: “eat like our ancestors ate” – meaning lean meats, nuts, vegetables and fruit. It’s an especially alluring philosophy to those of us looking for healthy, high-energy snacks to take on our adventures.

The New Primal’s Grass-Fed Beef Jerky and their signature Trail Packs, which come in three dried fruit, jerky and fresh nut combinations, are a delicious, on-the-go snack for anyone looking to cut all the processed garbage out of their favorite trail foods.

Mixing jerky with trail mix is something I’ve been doing since my first backpacking trip into the Stuart Range as a child but I’m happy to see that someone took the inclination of so many outdoorsmen and ran with it. I have to admit I was skeptical at first. I have my go-to jerky from my routine plan, and despite all the additives and preservatives I’ve come to enjoy the flavor. However, I didn’t find The New Primal jerky lacking in the flavor department. On the contrary, the natural flavors were a welcome surprise. The Trail Packs are a healthy mix of nuts (raw almonds, raw cashews), dried fruit (mango, pineapple or cranberry) and jerky. The Grass-Fed Jerky is naturally flavored with gluten free tamari, honey, pineapple, lemon juice, garlic powder, liquid smoke, onion, pepper and ginger and is just right-not too dry or too tough-and further flavor enhanced by the fruit in the bag.

I’m always looking for easy, light, healthy snacks to throw into my climbing bag or to keep in my car and so the Trail Packs were a real pleasure. I’d eat one after climbing at the gym in the morning, at the crag before hiking back to the car, or with my lunch on a dayhike. A few handfuls (one pack), at 250 calories, provided the perfect pick-me-up after a workout and never left me feeling overly full or bogged down. With a few chunks of spicy chocolate from my own stash added to the bag, this is a hard snack to beat. However, the Trail Packs aren’t without their issues. The packaging could use some work – there is a lot of wasted space. The bags could be about half the size. As they are, you need a pack to carry one. I ended up re-bagging them in sandwich bags so I could carry them in a coat pocket. Also, there is a plastic-liner inside the paper packaging that the cranberries and other dried fruits love to stick to, which makes it difficult to get all the good stuff out without digging around in the bag. Here’s a quick list of the pros and cons:


  • Tastes great
  • All natural ingredients
  • Gluten free
  • No preservatives


  • Space-wasting packaging
  • Sticky plastic-liner
  • A little expensive at $6.99 per pack but you get what you pay for, which in this case is a healthy, quality snack

The New Primal makes their jerky and Trail Packs “for the modern hunter gatherer,” so if you think that’s you and you’d like to be, hunting your own meat and gathering your own nuts and fruit but just don’t have the time, maybe this is the next best thing. Whether you consider yourself a “modern hunter gatherer” or not, The New Primal Trail Packs are sure to be a welcome snack on any of your outdoor adventures.

The New Primal

Date available: Available Now!

Company Website: http:/

MSRP: $6.99/pack

Net Weight: Just Beef Jerky 2.0 oz, Trail Packs 2.5 oz

Ingredients: beef, gluten free tamari, honey, pineapple, lemon juice, garlic powder, liquid smoke, onion, pepper and ginger, nuts and dried fruit

Available Flavors: Just Beef Jerky, Mango and Beef Jerky, Pineapple and Beef Jerky, Cranberries and Beef Jerky

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